Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has forgone the chance to pursue an IPL contract, opting instead to play the full 2018 county season with Surrey. The 26-year-old has inked a contract with the club, agreeing to play all three formats of the 2018 season as one of the team's overseas recruits. Marsh, who is currently captaining Western Australia, in the domestic circuit should be available for the start of the county season after finishing his commitments with the state, national and BBL sides.
At Surrey, Marsh will be reacquainted with head coach Michael di Venuto, who has previously worked as a batting coach with Australia. On the field, the all-rounder will have to play follow-up to a giant act from Kumar Sangakkara - who retired from first-class cricket after a 1491-run season at an average of 106.50 and eight centuries.
"I'm extremely excited to join Surrey for the 2018 season. The opportunity to challenge myself in English conditions is something I can't wait for," Marsh said. "I have followed the team closely this year and hopefully I'll be able to contribute to some silverware, along with helping a young squad grow and improve. The opportunity to work with Michael di Venuto [Head Coach] and Alec Stewart [Director of Cricket] is also very exciting. Bring on 2018!"
By making himself available for the full English season, Marsh will in all likelihood miss out on a lucrative IPL contract at next year's auction. The Western Australian had two forgettable years with Rising Pune Supergiant. In 2016, he returned home after three games due to a side strain. The following year, he picked up a shoulder injury while playing Tests in India and was replaced by Imran Tahir.
He returned to competitive action at the 50-over JLT cup, where he has scored a hundred and a fifty so far. However, he is expected to resume bowling only in the new year.
Reacting to Marsh's signing, Alec Stewart said: "I'm very pleased to announce the signing of Mitch Marsh, a highly talented, exciting and motivated international all-rounder. His all-round abilities and experience will add great balance and depth to our squad in all formats of the game and I look forward to welcoming him to the Kia Oval for the start of next season."